The mingha river, dudleys knob and a blue whio

Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
Trip End Oct 01, 2015

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Saturday, December 14, 2013

We had decided that we wanted to go off and explore arthurs pass for the weekend – our last attempt wasn’t that successful, we woke up late and by the time we got there it was almost too late to do anything so we turned around again. This time though was different, we had a quite night on the Friday and just headed to the pallet pavilion – a venue that they constructed here out
of pallets after the earthquake, they had a special showing of gremlins and I forgot how awesome it was, we wrapped up in blankets and sat watching the film sipping red wine under the stars.

So the following morning we woke up feeling refreshed and headed off to meet our friends and began our journey to arthurs pass, the drive was as beautiful as ever as we passed through all the mountain ranges, when we got to the car park at the start of the walk we were a little worried by the amount of cars that were in the car parks, the hut we were walking too only has beds for 20 and judging by the amount of cars there was definitely more than 20 people here, we set off anyway and figured there should be at least some floor space to lay down for the night.

Within about 5 minutes we had already got to our first river crossing so we took off our shoes and changed into our specific “river crossing” trainers we had brought with us and began wading across, the river was deep and came up mine and sallys belly button but only just seemed to reach a little higher than the boys’ knees! We made it across successfully and finished with a
team high five, then we realised we hadn’t got any photo evidence of our awesome river cross so back into the water we went! Little did we know quite how many more opportunities we would get! We carried on walking following the river as it wound itself through the valley infront of us, after 3 more river crossings in the next hour we decided that the shoe changing was slowing us down a lot and so decided we were just going to have to get our feet wet. It was actually quite a nice way to cool down in the end.

We started seeing lots of people that were training for the coast to coast race who had run the whole section of the course in around 3 hours – we had planned for it to take us 2 days! We cut in up through the trees until we were walking along the ridgeline which was also known as dudleys knob as the river (the mingha river) flowed beneath us, we met another group of
hikers taking a break at the side of the track and they mentioned that they were also heading to the hut, we decided to pick up the pace and hopefully we’d get there before them ;-)

The walk was beautiful and after multiple river crossings we felt like pros and before we knew it we were at the hut and there was space yay! We kicked off our wet shoes and settled into our home for the night. New Zealand has lots of department of conservation huts which definitely makes hiking a lot easier as you don’t have to carry tents and camping equipment, most of them have bunk beds, running water and a kitchen area for you to sit in in the evenings.  The hut we stayed at was called goats pass hut and was perched on the edge of the mountain with amazing views of snow capped peaks around us.

We cooked some food and played some cards and as the sun went down we also decided to retire to bed and get some much needed rest – tomorrow was going to be a long day!

The following day we had a lazy morning and eventually got on our way around 10am, as soon as we left the hut we realised that this was going to be a lot harder than yesterday – gone were the well trodden paths and boardwalks and we faced with boulder clambering our way down a river into the valley below, we even got to see a whio – a very rare duck which you have to
report if you see, this one wasn’t even tagged so had obviously not yet been spotted before. It was great fun but very hard and there was no path, we just had to keen an eye out for orange triangles that were stuck on the trees every so often to know where we were going. a couple of hours later the valley opened out to a clearing where we climbing up on a big rock and decided this would be a good lunch spot, so there we sat and enjoyed the view for a while before
heading off again, it was another half an hour or so by the time we reached a big sign for another hut which we thought we had passed an hour and a half before! The boulder hopping was definitely slowing us down – still we weren’t put off and instead just carried on crossing river after river – some of the crossings were so strong we all had to go across holding hands incase some slipped and was washed away!   It was a great experience though and definitely made the walk more fun, we walked for 10 hours that day and when we saw the bridge back into the car park we were all a little more than relieved. Then we just had an hour and a half drive back home where we collapsed into bed around midnight completely shattered but wed had a great
time and were already talking about where to go next time.


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Dave on

That's incredible. Were the 'river crossing' trainers crocs by any chance?

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